Incredible Astrophoto: Yuga Kurita’s “Galactic Volcano”

mt-fuji

I came across this stunning photo lately and just had to share it. The man who took it is none other than inspired photographer Yuga Kurita, who snapped a shot of Mt. Fuji at night to create a truly stunning image that makes the iconic Mt. Fuji appear like a galactic volcano. This effect is due largely to the heavens obliging him on a clear night, but also thanks to thousands of people climbing the mountain’s slopes.

Apparently, this is something of a pilgrimage in Japan, where people take their flashlights and climb the mountain at night in order to get a clear look from the peak of the volcano at the sun rising on the following day. Over at his account on Google+, he explains his inspiration to get a snapshot of the mountain at night:

When I arrived at Fujiyoshida in Yamanashi Prefecture, I saw people climbing up Mt. Fuji with flash lights and I thought they looked like lava streams. Then I came up with this composition, since nowadays, the Milky Way appears vertically in the sky so probably I could liken Mt. Fuji to an imaginary galactic volcano, that is, people climbing up with torches are lava streams and the Milky Way is the volcano smoke.

After deciding to get a picture of the “stellar” site, Kurita checked out several maps and then spent an entire day driving and hiking around the base of the mountain in order to get the most pristine shot. And as you can see, it worked out quite well! Between the vertical arm of the Milky Way and the lights leading up the mountainside, it looks like stars are escaping out of the mountain’s mouth and stellar flames are trickling over the edge. Truly cosmic!

To see more of Kurita’s work, click on this link here, or head on over to Google+ and simply type in his name.

Sources: plus.google.com, universetoday.com

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